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Business Observer Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013 7 years ago

Butler did it: Cleaning firm polishes $1.6M in sales

Franchise-based business has more than doubled sales since 2010.

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Annual sales are up nearly 50% for the second year in a row at Cleaning Butlers of Sarasota, a local franchise-based business founded in 2009.

Sales in 2012, says the firm in a release, were up 49% over 2011, from $1.1 million to $1.64 million. Revenues rose 47% in 2011 over 2010, when it had $750,000 in sales.

Lakewood Ranch-based entrepreneur Lynne Dowd founded Cleaning Butlers in 2009. She previously ran operations for Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems' offices in Augusta, Ga., and Orlando. For the Sarasota-Bradenton region, though, Dowd sought to build a business in small-scale franchising, where the accounts are spread among independent business owners/franchisees.

The franchisees hire their own employees, crews that work under the Cleaning Butlers flag. Dowd and her in-house staff of four employees market the business, find the clients and do the billing and scheduling. Dowd then divvies up work among the franchisees. The philosophy, according to the release, “is not to sell franchises to just anyone, but be selective in choosing potential franchise owners who understand that they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.”

Cleaning Butlers projects more sales growth in 2013. The firm, the release states, also seeks new franchisees for regions in south Sarasota County, including Venice, North Port and Nokomis. The firm is also looking for potential franchise owners who specialize in floor care, carpet cleaning and ceramic tile restoration. Franchise fees range from $2,500 to $42,000.

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